Lupus Site - a guide for lupus patients and their families



Muscle Biopsy


A local anaestheitic is injected, and a needle is inserted into the muscle. A small piece of tissue remains in the needle when it is removed. Sometimes, a small incision in the skin may be needed to get a sample of the muscle.

The area may sting or burn when the anaesthetic is injected. Pulling or tugging sensations may be felt, but there should be no pain. When the anaesthetic wears off, the area may be sore for about 1 week.

A muscle biopsy can reveal conditions such as:

  • atrophy (loss of muscle mass)

  • necrosis (tissue death) of muscle fibers

  • inflammation of the muscle

  • necrotizing vasculitis

  • myopathic changes (destruction of the muscle)

  • muscular dystrophy, indicated by antibody staining of the muscle biopsy specimen that can show deficient dystrophin




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